Trey Ball could have a career... as a hitter?
Let's face it: as a pitcher, Trey Ball did not turn out to be a particularly great draft pick for the Boston Red Sox.
I was skeptical of it at the team: a high school pitcher in the first round is always a risk. Plus, he was from Indiana where winter exists. Plus, he hadn't been throwing a curveball for very long, so he was at a disadvantage. So yeah, was hoping they'd take Austin Meadows instead...
But that doesn't mean Trey Ball is a complete lost cause despite his very rough AA stats this season (7.58 ERA in 34 relief outings); he could still have a career as a hitter, and it seems like the Red Sox are keeping this in mind.
Ball got to DH in two games for the Sea Dogs late this season and hit the game-winning double in one of them.
Apparently, there is a thought that he could make something of himself as a position player. Just check out this tweet from sports writer-turned-walking fossil Peter Gammons.
From an NL scout:"His timing isn't there yet, but it is a really good swing. Hopefully he can go get swings and see if it works. He's got a chance, and he looks relieved"— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) September 4, 2018
Now, trusting anonymous sources (especially scouts), is not a great idea. But I do actually know someone who played against Trey Ball in high school in Indiana and he told me that he thought Ball was a better hitter than he was pitcher in the high school days. And that was from the guy who runs @HotStoveStats on Twitter; he knows baseball, so I'll take his word for it.
Ball is 24 years old, so there is still definitely time for him to explore the whole hitting thing. It will be interesting to see what the organization ends up doing with him next spring. He played some outfield in high school, so maybe he'll get some reps out there in addition to some cuts at the plate. We shall see what they do...